New Year, New Tech! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to try new tech, you’re in the right place. If one of your resolutions is to make more of the tech you already use, you’re in the right place. If you don’t have a tech New Year’s resolution, well maybe you should.
Tech doesn’t stand still, advances and innovations keep coming. Some people (not just me) find this exciting while others find it overwhelming. Whichever way you look at it doesn’t matter, so long as you try to keep up with tech.
As 2013 begins, we don’t really know what the future holds. You can read rumors about the next iPhone or Surface tablet, but until they launch we won’t know for certain what capabilities they will have. What we do know is that this time next year we will be familiar with all sorts of tech we haven’t heard about yet.
Whether you’re new to tech or want to take your tech to a higher level, here are some ideas to make the most of tech in 2013.
Did you know about Pinterest this time last year? Do you know about so.cl now? Have you tried Google + yet? Social media sites can roar to life, fizzle, or grow slowly. The key is to discover the one that fits best with your interests and then connect with others on the site.
While we may not yet know which social media site will be the hottest one this time next year, we do know that social media isn’t going away in 2013 and most likely will grow. In 2013 how will you make social media work for you?
If you haven’t tried Twitter yet, 2013 may be the time to give it a try. Sign up for a Twitter account and find accounts to follow. Before you follow someone, look at their tweets to make sure they’re tweeting interesting, relevant information. Twitter is only as useful as the tweets you see.
Don’t send out tweets at first. Learn the lay of the land to see how Twitter works before sharing your tweets with others. Remember, once you post a tweet, it’s public. Make sure you understand what you’re doing first before jumping in head first.
If you’ve been on Twitter for a while, perhaps it’s time to clean out your Twitter account. Unfollow accounts that aren’t active, tweet dribble or do nothing to enhance your Twitter experience. Find out who isn’t following you back so you can decide whether you’re willing to have your Twitter relationship be a one-way street.
Manage Flitter is a free website that help you to cull your Twitter follows easily. Manage Flitter organizes your Twitter followers into groups based on the following criteria:
- Not following back
- No Profile Image
- Fake Following
- High Ratio of Following/Followers
and others. Manage Flitter sorts through the accounts you follow so you can weed out ones that aren’t relevant to you any more. You can quickly see which accounts are worth saving and which are unfollow-worthy.
Not everyone is on Facebook yet and if you’ve been holding out, you may be looking for a reason to sign up. If connecting with new and old chums isn’t reason enough, then consider Facebook as a resource. You can follow Facebook Pages of your favorite businesses to discover discounts and new products. Facebook can also be an organizational tool with new resources to help people share information. Create a Facebook account to see what you’ve been missing. You can always drop it later if you decide Facebook just isn’t for you.
You may have been using Facebook for years, but are you making the most of it? While Facebook is great for connecting with friends, you can also use it as an organizational tool. Facebook Groups got a bad rap initially because people were being put into Facebook Groups without their permission (see, How to Leave a Facebook Group).
But Facebook Groups can be a useful resource for collaboration. You may only need to connect with some people for a specific reason, you don’t necessarily want to see pictures of their new pet iguana or their most recent tour of the Sewers of Paris. With Facebook Groups, you can post images, status updates and share files within the group, while avoiding seeing the members’ other posts.
Check out Back to School with Facebook! for other ideas on how Facebook can be used as a tool for you (even if you don’t have kids in school).
You may have heard plenty about Google +, but have you had a chance to check it out? Like any social media site, Google + is what you make of it. If you follow the right people, Google + can show you a side of people that they don’t reveal on other social media sites. Because Google + is still much smaller than Facebook or Twitter, the site has a significantly different, more intimate feel than the larger sites.
You may want to set up an account just to check out Google + and see if it’s a good fit for you. If you have a Google account, you can easily sign up for Google + based on your existing Google account. If not, well, Google accounts are free and easy to start.
Google + Hangouts may be the very best reason to join Google +. Hangouts are live video conferences with up to 10 people at once. Hangouts may be spur of the moment or scheduled, but they are a fun and useful way to hang out with others.
Hangouts can be serious, when people are discussing important topics, or fun and silly. Google gives you special effects to liven up your video chat. If your hangout needs a dose of merriment, try a few special effects to get the giggles going!
Be on the lookout for Hangouts to join. Try joining a few before you start a Hangout on your own. Once you get the hang of it, you might be creating your own Hangouts.
People join Pinterest for many different reasons. They may want to look at pretty pictures, organize images on boards, or promote their products or services. Pinterest must be doing something right because other well-established sites such as StumbleUpon and eBay have redesigned their sites to be in the style of Pinterest.
Pinterest’s appeal for me comes from its ease of use. If I need a break, I pop over to Pinterest for visual stimulation. The beauty of the pictures can transport me on a mental vacation without much work on my part. Repinning my favorite images is an easy way to share beauty with others. Pinterest also brings a lot of readers to The Wonder of Tech.
Discover Pinterest boards to follow by searching for “Best Pinterest Boards” in your niche.
Broaden your Pinterest activity by joining and following Group Pinterest Boards. These boards are a conglomeration of pins by group members for a certain topic. These might be related to food, jewelry, crafts, holidays, zombies or other topics of interest, the possibilities are endless. Pinning on a group board can get much more attention for your pin than if you pin it on your own board.
Check out Page 2 for ideas of other (non-social media) tech to try =>
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2013 image by Christmas Stock Images